Army promises to try officer for assaulting corps member in Calabar

The Nigerian Army has promised to try the officer seen in a viral video assaulting a member of the National Youth Service Corps in accordance with the provisions of the Armed Forces Act. 

In the viral video, the commissioned female Army officer identified as Lt. Chika Anele was seen pouring muddy water on a youth corps member, Ezeiruaku Fidelia, who was in her uniform.

The corps member was said to be serving at the 13 Brigade headquarters in Calabar.

Describing the act as unprofessional, the Army stated it was against established precepts of discipline in the service.

The Army made its position known in a statement on Thursday by the Director of Army Public Relations, Onyema Nwachukwu.

He said the Brigade Commander had immediately instituted an investigation and the officer involved has been identified and sanctioned in the interim.

Onyema however apologised to the victim for the assault she suffered.

The statement was titled, “Officer dehumanising corps member in video highly unprofessional and unacceptable”.

It read, “The Nigerian Army has taken cognizance of a video clip currently making the rounds on the social media, where a female officer was seen dehumanising a member of the National Youth Service Corps in Calabar, Cross River State. This act is not only condemnable but unprofessional and against established precepts of discipline in the NA.

“The NA has remained undoubtedly the pride of the nation, a symbol of national unity that has consistently been in the vanguard of respect for the fundamental human rights of the citizenry. It is against this premise that the NA condemns this unimaginable level of infraction by the personnel in its ranks. The NA therefore, condemns in strong terms, this act of gross misconduct.

The statement further noted that the officer’s action has caused the service a ‘monumental embarrassment which is highly regrettable.’

The statement further read, “Undoubtedly, the officer’s actions have caused the NA monumental embarrassment and is highly regrettable. This unfortunate act of indiscipline does not in any way represent the NA and will not be condoned in its entirety. For the records, the ugly incident happened in 13 Brigade, Calabar. 

“The Brigade Commander immediately instituted an investigation and the officer involved has been identified and sanctioned on the interim and would be made to undergo regimental orders (trial) in line with the extant provisions of the Armed Forces Act. 

“The submission that the Brigade attempted covering up was therefore misleading, as the NA remains a professional force that has zero-tolerance for indiscipline amongst its personnel. The NA wishes to reiterate and assure the general public that such infractions would not be tolerated by its personnel. 

“The NA also reassures that the rights of the citizenry is sacrosanct and must be respected by all personnel of the NA, as any form of infraction will be severely dealt with.”

Onyema further urged Nigerians to report any indiscipline meted by members of the military.

“Therefore, the general public is enjoined to continue to report such infractions, as Human Rights Desks in all formations of the NA are emplaced to deal decisively with such erring personnel.

 “The NA further wishes to tender an unreserved apology to the victim, her family members, friends, National Youth Service Corps, and to Nigerians in general for the unwholesome treatment meted out to the Corps member,” he said.

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